These 10 verses are universally understood in the heart of all believers. Let me give you the basic rundown—Paul is saying that inside of himself there is a constant war between what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do. He desires to do what is right and yet finds himself continually doing wrong. He doesn’t want to do wrong, but there is a constant pull that is compelling him to sin. For him it is the source of his greatest frustration. Can you relate?
In v. 18 he reminds the reader that he understands there is nothing good in him so there is no way he’s going to be able to do this on his own. He has the passion but lacks the ability in himself. Good news- it’s not up to him! Verse 22 helps us to see that the believer has a “delight” or a “desire” for God in the inward man. God has put within us the necessary weapon for victory.
So here’s the battle of the century. You have the flesh that compels you to evil and the spirit that compels you to live a God-ward life. Who wins?
The answer to the “who wins” question is twofold. POSITIONALLY, as a believer, you can be confident and encouraged by the good news that Jesus Christ has already defeated sin, (v. 25) but PRACTICALLY, whether or not you are seeing continued spiritual growth and victory comes down to what you’re putting in your heart and mind. It’s the old “black dog, white dog” illustration we’ve talked about before. If these dogs were to fight the winner would be determined by which one you fed more.
How will you “feed” the spirit and “starve” the flesh? By STIRRING UP THE AFFECTIONS IN YOUR LIFE THAT MAKE YOU LOVE JESUS CHRIST MORE AND REFUSING TO SUBMIT TO THE AFFECTIONS THAT WILL PULL YOUR HEART AWAY FROM HIM. Remember that you can’t do this on your own- you need Jesus’ help to make these decisions so talk with Him about it often.
So what best stirs your affections, your “inward man” towards the Lord? What book of the Bible when you read it, what sermon when you listen to it, what song when you hear it, what sport when you play it, what activity when you do it??? Stir those affections for Jesus!
Food for Thought: Read Romans 7:15-25. what are the two warring entities inside each of us? According to today’s devo, “who wins”?
Senior Pastor | www.libcky.com
Pastor Matt and his wife, Sheila, have been serving the church family of Landmark Baptist Church since 2007. They have four children - Olivia, Levi, Reid, and Luke.